PLEASE NOTE: THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS OF A MAJOR DEATH IN THE X-FAMILY. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED.X-Force #26
Written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Penciled by Mike Choi
Colors by Sonia Oback
Lettered by VC's Cory Petit
Cover by Adi Granov
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Lan Pitts
"I believe in you."
If you've been following the teasers Marvel has shown about Second Coming, you're aware that a death is on the horizon, and a major one at that. This is where it all happens. If you have NOT read this issue, consider this your final warning shot, because things are about to get spoiled.
With mutant teams scattered over the country, you would think the book would seem scattered yet Kyle and Yost focus the issue mainly on Hope, Rogue and Nightcrawler trying to tackle a juiced-up Bastion to try to reach Utopia. Rightfully so, since one of those X-Men die, though if you've seen the teasers and just rationalized it all, you would know that all signs point to one person. Though, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Since this is usually considered Wolverine's team book, they play a minor part in the story, which I guess is to bring focus more on an X-Man's sacrifice and death. I love how Bastion is considered a real threat this time around. I do this his design is a bit overcomplicated, but not crossing the border as silly. The combination of Choi and Oback is one of my favorites in comicdom. I know some fans have a problem with photo-realism, but I think their style really captured the emotion of a story that is supposed to weigh heavy on a reader's heart. You have Cyclops looking speechless, Wolverine on the verge of tears and doesn't seem to believe the news of Nightcrawler's death. The issue feels light on dialog, but the art speaks for itself.
Kyle and Yost did what was promised, but I wish it was handled differently. Not the fact that he wouldn't have died, his death had a purpose and did not feel in vain. Just perhaps the panel direction and construction of it. It didn't feel as dramatic as I would have liked for this character. I will say the imagery of Kurt with Bastion's arm sticking out of his chest is brutal, but Kurt was a man of God, and we know that he is in a much better place.
What will be the fallout from this? I can only imagine how the X-teams are feeling after losing a member that embodied their beliefs so well. Bastion received another upgrade at the end of the issue, so if you thought the slugout was brutal before, I'm sure we have another barn-burner on our hands with the next chapter.